The Value of the Photographic Print vs. Online Viewing

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You May Not Know What You Are Missing!

We are living in an awesome age – with new innovative technology being added to our lives almost every day. It can be overwhelming at times to just try to keep up with it all. This is especially true for photographers and the patrons of photography in general.

One thing that is a little unsettling to me as a landscape/nature photographer is the growing number of people who often express an avid interest and love for photography as an artform, but then choose to enjoy and view their favorite photographer’s work only online – on their computer or tablet screen, or maybe on their large high definition TV screen. Yes, High Definition TV’s are here and they are amazing inventions to be sure. But – they are no match to the experience of viewing a professionally output fine art print in person. This is something that any pro photographer, gallery or museum person would tell you, if you were to ask them. The exquisite detail, the subtle nuances of color, tone, and texture are elements that easily visible in a print that you can walk up to and view up close and in person that are just not fully appreciated as pixels on a computer/TV screen. Most people who have never had that experience (of seeing a physical print) first hand will not understand what you are telling them. They most likely think that what they see on their state of the art TV or computer screen is “optimal”.  It’s not optimal. Not even close, actually. It’s a little like visiting and seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time versus seeing a beautiful photograph of the same spot you you visited in person – the photograph may get close – but it can’t match completely the full visual and sensual experience of being there first hand.

There are numerous other benefits that come with a purchased fine art print: It is a permanent (usually signed) archival copy of the original that you can proudly display on a wall in your home or office. It cannot be lost or corrupted due to a failed computer hard drive. In some cases it could become more valuable (as a marketable work of art) over time if the photographer who created it becomes more well known or even famous. And, lastly, I know for me when someone takes the time out of their busy day to buy even a small print from me it is a big confidence booster because I feel that my work is being seen and genuinely appreciated. So, what is the benefit to you? You’ll feel good, of course!

So, to all of the photographers, gallery owners, and photography lovers in general who “get it” – Let’s all try to do a little more to educate the public about this. I feel we (photographers and patrons) will all be much better off in the long run.

That’s my 2 cents worth for today. Hopefully I have helped open the eyes of at least one or two people on the subject and they will at least consider going to an art fair or gallery or museum to see the “real thing” as it was meant to be seen and experienced.



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